Watch guide – Basic parts of a wristwatch

Watch guide – getting to know the movements

Quartz movements, automatic movements, mechanical movements, chronographs, certified chronometers, tourbillons. What does this all mean? Watches for men can be very complicated, very extraordinary instruments comprised of many pieces. There are a lot of things you need to know about wristwatches if you intend to become a watch collector. Here we have a guide for the basic parts of a wristwatch that you may find useful when searching for the perfect wristwatch for you.

Watch guide – Basic parts of a watch

Watch guide – basic part – the case

Case – case is the housing of which holds the inner working parts of a wristwatch

Watch guide – basic part – the crown

Crown – it is the knob on the side of the wristwatch casing which can be turned to set or change time

Watch guide – basic part – the bezel

Bezel – the watch case’s out the ring that holds the crystal in place. It is usually made of different metal from the case and is sometimes embellished with precious gemstones for luxury watches for men.

Watch guide – basic part – the crystal

Crystal – usually made of plastic or glass, today they can be made of sapphire crystal. Crystals protect the interior parts of the wristwatch’s face.

Watch guide – basic part – the lugs

Lugs – Small metal pairs at the top of bottom of the watch case where the strap or metal bracelet is attached

Watch guide – basic part – the dial

Dial – the face of the watch which displays time

Watch guide – basic part – the hands

Hands – Comprised of the shorter hand, the longer minute hand, and the fast-moving second hand, these parts are the ones moving over the dial to indicate the time.

Watch guide – basic part – hour maker

Hour maker – the numeric labels on the face of the watch, usually 1 to 12. The markers can also be in Roman numerals.

Watch guide – basic part – the pusher

Pusher – Typically situated next to the crown, it’s a knob that sets other functions such as date.

Watch guide – basic part – the subdial

Subdial – A smaller dial within the main dial, which serves an additional or secondary function.

Watch guide – basic part – the strap

Strap – Functions like the bracelet to keep the watch on the wrist secure. It can be made of materials like leather, metal, rubber, nylon, etc.

Watch guide – basic part – the movements

Movement – The interior mechanism or engine of the wristwatch that makes it work. It is made up of several smaller parts.

Watch guide – Watch complications and additional functions

Watch guide - Watch complications and additional functions

The most basic function is where it tells time only. These kinds of watches for men are considered the most “dressy/formal” of all watch types. Anything in addition to the time is considered an added “complication” to the watch function, and thus the term. Below you will find some of the most popular watch complications and what they mean.

AM/PM Indicator

This indicator is also referred to as Day/Night indicator. This allows you to see what time of the day it is based on an image of the sun and moon. This function is especially helpful when finding on dual-timezone watch as you will be able to see the time in different timezone and always know the time of the day.

Annual Calendar

This calendar function displays the day, date, and month, and typically also includes the year. Unlike the Perpetual Calendar, this function needs to be adjusted at the end of February, as it does not account for leap years.

Battery Reserve (End of life) Indicator

Found on a quartz watch, the second hand typically will jump in two or four-minute intervals rather than every second. This function will alert you before the watch loses power.


A standard Calendar function, rather than an Annual Calendar or Perpetual Calendar, will show you the date and the month depending on the complexity of the movement. There are watches for men that have more complex movements that will allow you to see the day of the week.


A chronograph will make it possible for you to measure continuous or discontinuous intervals of time. Typically, chronographs record from a fraction of a second, up to 12—24 hours. This is typically recorded in three sundials and usually operated by two additional pushers surrounding the crown, but can also be found in a single pusher.

Depth Alarm

This function is primarily found on dive watches. Once a diver reaches a pre-set depth, an alarm sounds or vibrates.

Date Window

Considered part of the calendar family, a date window will be the only numbers found associated with the date. Popular places to find the date window are 3 o’clock, 12 o’clock or 5 o’clock.

Dual time

A helpful complication for those who like to travel or have family located in a different time-zone, this measures both the current local time and typically at least one other time-zone. Dual time can be found in a second dial, an extra hand, or in a sub-dial. Dual time is also called the World Time function.

GMT Time

GMT means Greenwich Mean Time, which is the international standard of time that the world is set to. Similar to dual time, a GMT function is primarily found as a second hand and reads in a 24-hour mode o determine day from night.

Grand + Petite Sonnerie

This beautiful function refers to a watch that strikes a bell to chime the time. This function happens automatically like a grandfather clock or a large clock in a town center. A Grand Sonnerie strikes the hour, quarter-hour, and minutes. A petite Sonnerie strikes the hours only.

Helium Escape Valve

These parts are found in diving watches that can dive deep into the ocean, a helium escape valve releases the pressure that exists in extreme depths of the ocean. This avoids damaging the watch or popping the crystals due to excessive pressure.

Minute repeater

Unlike Grand and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater chimes the hour, quarts and minutes at the push of a button.

Moon Phase

Shown in a window of a dial, a moon phase function will show the waxing and waning of the moon as it circles the earth. This allows you to watch the different phases of the moon both in the sky and on your wrist.

Watch guide – choosing the right watch for you

These are the basic parts of a wristwatch; these parts can come in handy when you are choosing the right wristwatch for you. You then know what to look for and how you can manage to choose the right one for you and how they function will also determine the price of the watch.

Watch guide– men’s watches are simplistic in design

Watch guide – According to businessmen, a watch is more than just a time-telling device, it is a statement. A watch tells people about the type of person you are and what you value.